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Posts Tagged ‘mission support/community partnerships’

McCain Pledges to Shield A-10s from Air Force’s Retirement Plans

  • March 9, 2015
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Sen. John McCain on Friday vowed to reverse the Air Force’s recent decision to place nine A-10 close air support aircraft based at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson into backup status. Officials last year proposed retiring the entire fleet of nearly 300 A-10s to save about $4 billion. Lawmakers rejected that plan in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill but included language permitting the Air Force to place up to 36 A-10s this fiscal year into backup status, reported the Arizona Daily Star. “That was a compromise that was made last year in response to the Air Force’s misguided attempt to retire all the A-10s …

Vermont High Court Rules in Favor of Basing Plan for F-35s

  • March 9, 2015
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Opponents of the Air Force’s plan to base 18 F-35A fighter jets at Burlington Air Guard Station lost their appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court last week after the court ruled that the city of Burlington, Vt., did not need to obtain a state land use and development permit to account for the additional noise impacts and new facilities associated with the fifth-generation aircraft. Opponents of the Air Force’s plan believe the new aircraft will be significantly louder than the F-16 it will replace and poses a greater safety risk to the surrounding community. Last May, the state environmental court said the upgrades needed to accommodate the F-35s did not require a state permit because the Guard served a federal purpose …

Condition of Facilities Remains at High Risk, Installation Officials Say

  • March 8, 2015
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DOD’s fiscal 2016 budget request would help the services restore some of the backlog in facility maintenance caused by previous years’ spending cuts, but it still would leave installations scrambling to keep pace with building maintenance requirements. The proposal would cover only 81 percent of the funds the services need to adequately maintain their infrastructure, reported Federal News Radio. And that’s assuming Congress comes up with a way to pay for the administration’s request to exceed the Budget Control Act spending caps by $35 billion next year. “Facility sustainment is still the place where I see the highest risk,” said John Conger, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment …

Budget Caps Threaten Activity at Fort Hood, Support Group Official Says

  • March 8, 2015
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If Congress fails to provide the Pentagon relief from the Budget Control Act spending caps, Fort Hood will experience “death by a thousand cuts,” the head of the post’s local support group told the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corp. last week. “Fort Hood is an enduring, capable installation,” said Bill Parry, executive director of the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance. “The question is, at what level? …

OEA Providing Assistance to Communities Coping with Defense Industry Cutbacks

  • March 8, 2015
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Communities responding to the cancellation of a defense contract or a major reduction in DOD spending that results in a significant economic impact can apply to DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment for planning assistance to carry out community adjustment and economic diversification activities, according to an announcement scheduled to be published Monday in the Federal Register. To be eligible, state or local governments, or regional entities need to have experienced one of the following circumstances: a publicly announced planned major reduction in DOD spending; the cancellation or termination of a DOD contract; or the failure to proceed with an approved major weapons system program …

Army Can’t Keep up with Failing Facilities

  • March 6, 2015
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Army facilities deteriorated significantly following the first two years of mandatory budget caps, fiscal 2013 and 2014, Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy, and environment, told lawmakers this week. Currently, 7 percent of the service’s facilities are failing — including ones housing operating units — and 24 percent are in poor condition, Hammack told the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee on Tuesday. “The challenge is that facilities are failing at a rate faster than we’re being funded …

Air Force Launches Environmental Review for Basing F-35 Squadrons at Eielson AFB

  • March 6, 2015
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Alaska’s congressional delegation applauded Thursday’s announcement by the Air Force that it would begin preparing an environmental impact statement for its plan to base two F-35A squadrons totaling 48 aircraft at Eielson Air Force Base. The Federal Register notice is a “giant leap towards bringing the F-35 to the most strategic place in the world — and with Russia militarizing the Arctic, these F-35s can’t arrive soon enough,” said Sen. Dan Sullivan (R). “Over the last few weeks, I have spoken with several senior Air Force leaders, including the chief of staff of the Air Force General Welsh, and they all have assured me that Alaska is home to the nation’s largest training ranges, the best airspace and some of the very best airmen in the Air Force …

Lawmakers Approve $2.4M to Buffer Langley AFB, Fentress Landing Field

  • March 6, 2015
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Virginia lawmakers last week approved $2.4 million in amendments to the state budget to protect two military airfields in Hampton Roads — Langley Air Force Base in Hampton and Fentress Naval Auxiliary Landing Field in Chesapeake — from urban encroachment. With stringent spending caps being imposed on DOD and the prospect of a new base closure round, efforts to support the missions of local installations are critical, reported the Virginian-Pilot. “The big thing is we want to keep Langley here, just as Virginia Beach wants to keep Oceana,” said Del. Gordon Helsel …

New BRAC Round Would Generate Savings, Conger Says

  • March 4, 2015
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The Pentagon’s senior installations official told lawmakers Tuesday that the BRAC round DOD is requesting would realize savings much more quickly than the 2005 round. “We look at the next round as an efficiency-driven one,” John Conger, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, told the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee. “In such a budget environment as we have today, it only makes sense to avoid spending money on excess …

Central Louisiana Hopes to Shield Ft. Polk from Troop Cuts a Second Time

  • March 4, 2015
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The people of Central Louisiana put on a strong show of support Tuesday for the listening session for Fort Polk, with a large number of residents lining the streets in Leesville on the way to the meeting site and crowds at two satellite locations participating via live streaming. Speakers emphasized the region’s patriotism and loyalty to the post as Army officials gathered input from Fort Polk’s neighbors before deliberating over the service’s second round of restructuring this decade. The listening sessions that officials are conducting at 30 installations will be used to help the Army determine how to shrink its active-duty end strength from 490,000 to 420,000 by fiscal 2020 …

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